Root Canal Therapy
What is root canal therapy?
The aim of root canal treatment, also called endodontic treatment, is to save a tooth that has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury by removing the damaged nerve. Most people prefer to save their tooth because it will generally function better than an artificial tooth. To improve the chances of success, a root canal treatment should being as soon as possible.
How does a nerve become damaged?
Requiring root canal therapy usually results from an inflammation of the pulp (soft tissue deep inside the tooth containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue), which can be caused by a breakdown of a filling or crown, a deep cavity, trauma, gum disease etc. If the pulp of the tooth is not treated quickly, severe pain and abscesses can occur.
How do you remove the nerve?
To reach the pulp, an opening through the tooth is made then using special instruments called files, your dentist will remove inflamed or infected pulp. Each root canal of the tooth is cleaned, enlarged and shaped. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial medicines may be placed inside the root canal to help stop the inflammation and infection and then protected by a temporary filling. Generally 3 visits are required to complete the treatment.
What are the possible symptoms of nerve damage?
In some cases no symptoms evident. Symptoms that may indicate a problem with the tooth can include:
Severe pain upon chewing or application of pressure
Prolonged pain after eating/drinking something hot or cold
Discolouration (a darkening) of the tooth
Swelling and soreness in the gums surrounding the tooth
A persistent or recurring pimple on the gum
Unprovoked or spontaneous pain
Loosening of the tooth